Perspective Summer 2020

Probyn Miers welcomes you to our Summer 2020 edition of ‘Perspective’ which brings you news, information and points of view on topical issues relevant to construction lawyers, architects, contractors, engineers, insurers and to all our colleagues and friends in the international and UK Construction Industry.

Dear Readers and Friends

We find ourselves in a radically different environment from the one in which we had hoped to be when sending this issue of Perspective.

During these critical times, which we all are confronting in the UK and globally, you may be confident that Probyn Miers continues working with the strengths and excellence that has characterised our team and our services for 22 years. We are responding to the expectations of clients and colleagues by adapting our processes speedily, exercising systems with flexibility in the face of the unexpected, and ensuring that the safety of our team, and of all those with whom we work, is at the heart of all we do.

We wish you and your loved ones to be safe and supported as we all seek to weather this storm.

Remote site visits – a virtual child of necessity
By Bart Kavanagh

Site inspections are at the heart of many of the issues that architect expert witnesses are called upon to assist with. What happens then, when everyone is required either to stay at home or to restrict their movements in order to avoid catching or spreading a potentially life-threatening virus?….. Read More

Building Regulations Update for England: Part B – Fire Safety
By Martin Edwards

Three years have passed since West London was lit up by the horrifying spectacle of the 67m high Grenfell Tower burning from top to bottom in the UK’s worst-ever peacetime building fire, which resulted in 72 deaths….. Read More

Practical Completion and BIM
By John GouldsmithBart Kavanagh

As the National Building Specification (NBS) releases its 10th annual BIM report, this article examines the relationship of Building Information Modelling (BIM) deliverables to Practical Completion, (PC). By BIM deliverable, I mean not the BIM used for the design and procurement phases…….  Read More

Updates & News

RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide

In June 2019, the RIBA Council declared a climate and ecological emergency and approved all key recommendations of its Ethics and Sustainability Commission, the independent advisory board set up to help the RIBA fulfil its commitment to the UN Global Compact and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In December, the RIBA Sustainable Futures Group published a guide to sustainability in design, complementing the RIBA Plan of Work 2020 Sustainability Strategy and the RIBA Plan for Use Guide. The guide is freely available from the RIBA.

Building a Safer Future

In April 2020 the Government published a response to the ‘Building a Safer Future’ consultation. The document; ‘A reformed building safety regulatory system Government response to the ‘Building a Safer Future’ consultation‘ outlines the response of the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to the consultation and sets out how the Government intends to deliver reforms.

This promises amongst other things a “radically new building and fire safety system”“the biggest change in building safety for a generation” and “a tougher regulatory regime”.

It seems certain that substantial change is intended, which will have a significant impact on, amongst other things: roles and responsibilities, on appointments, construction contracts, other legislation such as the CDM regulations, PI and insurance provision, building costs, the programme for approvals and construction, the duties of relevant building owners, other and new duty holders and of occupiers too.